Supporting Your Loved One’s Body Image Fears With Cancer
There are a lot of worries that come with a cancer diagnosis, the most common one being life expectancy and how difficult treatment might be, as well as if it’ll work. Your loved one might feel “silly” or “vain” worrying about how her body is going to look during and after treatment but this is a perfectly valid concern and shouldn’t be blown off with a simple “don’t worry about that” mentality.
Body image is how one feels about their body and their looks. Many people may have this a central part of who they feel they are so when they learn they may have to lose a part of their body (such as a breast), it can be devastating. Someone who has always taken pride in their hair could be distraught with the thought of losing it all and then not being sure how it’ll come back.
As the caregiver of a loved one going through the cancer journey, you can help by suggesting several opportunities for support for your loved one. Some of these will pertain to family and friends, her home care assistance providers, and support groups.
Accept support from others
Sometimes it can be really hard to let other people help when you’ve been independent your whole life. That may be how your loved one is feeling, especially if this is the first time she is needing caregiving from you and home care assistance from others. She might feel like a failure because she doesn’t have the energy to do her laundry or make her meals. But that’s exactly what a home care assistance team is there for. Help your loved one accept the support from others so she can focus on getting well.
Ask her healthcare team for help
During this journey, your loved one will be introduced to many people who have either traveled this path before or are professionals at helping others travel this road. If your loved one is concerned about hair loss, her healthcare team most likely has resources for you to help her reach out to investigate options such as wigs or hair wraps. They can also help her learn how to take care of her scalp and prepare herself for when her hair grows back.
Stay physically active
While your loved one probably won’t be running any marathons, staying physically active can help her body image by proving to herself that she still has strength and her body is still her ally, not her enemy. It can give her more energy to sustain herself through treatment and have her body ready for recovery.
It’s going to be a rough road with ups and downs. Remind your loved one that bad days are okay, and feeling frustrated with her new body is normal. As her caregiver, a listening ear and a supportive touch or hug may be just what she needs to know her body is still her body, and loving it throughout the process will help it to heal.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Home Care Assistance in Coral Gables, FL please contact the caring staff at Elite Care At Home today at (305) 231-0555.
- Home Care Tips to Get Seniors to Eat More Dairy - June 7, 2023
- Companion Care at Home Helps Family Caregivers, Too - May 22, 2023
- Senior Home Care Tips for Preventing Skin Cancer - May 10, 2023